When Alexandra George began her freshman year at Drexel, she was eager to get involved in as many clubs and activities as she could. In high school, she was extremely involved; she planned to continue being an active student in college as well.
George had always had a deep desire to help people — a simple goal with infinite possibilities. She bounced around ideas of working in law, criminal justice and physical therapy, but ultimately settled on broadcast journalism. “Part of the reason I wanted to go into journalism specifically is because I had all of these big ideas about what I wanted to do,” she said. However, she wanted to do more than just report the news — her vision for herself was “not necessarily what you see on cable news.”
George was eager to dive into the field of broadcast journalism, but she found that getting involved was a bigger challenge than she had anticipated. That year, Drexel ended its television program. It seemed like there was nothing Drexel offered for students in her field.
It was during the fall of her sophomore year when she had a fortunate encounter in a TV Production class called DNEWS. Her professor, Andrew Altrichter, encouraged students to contact him if they wanted to produce content. George followed up immediately and, after months of hard work and planning, is the creator and host of “Inside Ambition” on Drexel University Television.
Although she had a lucky opportunity, George worried about the students who didn’t have the same drive to get involved as she did — students who were waiting for opportunities to come to them.
“I really believe that there is a space at Drexel where there’s a huge disconnect. Students are constantly complaining that there’s no school spirit, or that they don’t really know what’s going on with the administration,” George said.
She explained that, all too often, students are completely unaware of the clubs and groups that are available to them: “That’s a huge, huge theme at Drexel. And any student you talk to is completely aware of it.”
Many students chalk the lack of community at Drexel up to students being away on co-op or studying abroad, but there is always a student body present at Drexel. “You can still establish community,” she said, “I just don’t think that’s been found at Drexel yet. This is something that has bothered me for a while.”
The perceived lack of opportunity in George’s field was extremely discouraging for a while. She joined the Student Government in order to do what she could to give Drexel more student spirit, but she wanted to do more in her field. By creating “Inside Ambition,” George refused to be defeated by the lack of clubs and activities and set out to create her own opportunities.
With this new platform, she hopes to help others do the same.
“I really hope that this show can be a space for students to connect and relate to one another and know about what’s happening on campus and that’s what really pushed me,” she said. Helping other students become more involved and connected is her motivating factor; she hopes to help others who are having feelings of disconnect like she was her freshman year: “If I know that this is best for the student body, I’m going to work that much harder to get something to fruition.”
John Oliver and Samantha Bee are two of her biggest role models; she is inspired by the way they mix comedy and news in a way that makes people want to listen.
This is crucial to getting people to pay attention to important issues: “Nobody wants to pay attention unless there’s something in it for them,” she said.
In addition to contributing to a more engaged and connected Drexel community, George has a deep desire to tell stories. “I love the idea of helping others to share their stories. That in itself can help people — just raising awareness,” she said. “So many problems in this world are due to ignorance, misinformation, or just not knowing what’s going on. But when people know what’s going on, it’s really hard not to care.”
Her passion for storytelling paired with her talent for speaking inspired her to take the leap and create something meaningful, impactful and long-lasting.
She hopes to use her talent to bring awareness to important issues and give students a voice. “Whatever you want to learn about, whatever you want to talk about, come to us and we will find more information and we’ll tell people about it. You have a problem going on? Tell us and we’ll talk about it,” George said. “I want people to feel like this is their outlet.”
Since creating “Inside Ambition,” George has learned that opportunity is out there — sometimes it’s just harder to find. “I think something that’s really great about Drexel is you can do whatever you want to do here. Even if no one else has done what you’re doing, there’s still an opportunity to create it yourself,” she said. George encourages any students who want to get involved — in broadcast journalism or in other areas — to reach out to her at [email protected] so she can help get students connected.
While five or six episodes of “Inside Ambition” were able to be shot in Drexel’s studio, the current pandemic has led her to move the show’s filming to her home, which adds to a more casual, conversation-like feel. All episodes of “Inside Ambition” are available on Drexel University Television’s website at https://dutv.org/category/inside-ambition/.
Many hours of planning, filming and interviews have been put into creating the content for the show. Now, George is finally beginning to see the results of her hard work as her interviews with students and coverage of issues within the Drexel community are finally available for students to watch.
Alexandra George has given Drexel students the extraordinary opportunity to get connected, stay informed, and learn about each other.
She has proven that “there’s hope, there’s opportunity” — even if you have to create it yourself.